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Patience Cycles


  • Barnett, Richard

    () (Department of Economics & International Business LeBow College of Business Drexel University)

  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    () (Department of Economics Iowa State University)

  • Puhakka, Mikko

    () (Department of Economics University of Oulu)


Evidence supports the notion that those who grow up to be patient do better than those who do not. Parents can inculcate the virtue of delayed gratification in their children by taking the right actions. We study a model in which parents, for selfish reasons, invest resources to raise patient children. In the model, patience raises the marginal return to human capital acquisition giving the patient young an incentive to spend more on their own education at the expense of investment in their own progeny’s patience. This dynamic generates intergenerational patience cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnett, Richard & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Puhakka, Mikko, 2012. "Patience Cycles," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-7, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2012_007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Akabayashi, Hideo, 2006. "An equilibrium model of child maltreatment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 993-1025, June.
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    4. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
    5. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793.
    6. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    7. Vipul Bhatt & Masao Ogaki, 2012. "Tough Love And Intergenerational Altruism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 791-814, August.
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    More about this item


    patience; delayed gratification; preference transmission; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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